>> digging deeper. the sesech goes on for possible active faults beneath japan's nuclear plants. they could lead to permanent shutdown of several reactors. welcome to nhk world "newsline." inspectors from japan's nuclear regulation authority said a new nuclear power plan in the northern japan may be sitting on active seismic faults. a team of five experts concluded their two-day inspection at the higashidori plant in aomori prefecture. they concentrated on two faults in the compound. official from the plant's operator told the power company that a shift in the strata was caused by ground water. they say it wasn't the result of an active fault. investigators say they cannot rule out the possibility that the two faults are active.
they say they will be able to come to a finding without additional surveys. the nuclear regulation authority says all members of the team share the same view. he says there's evidence that the faults have moved. officials with the authority will meet to discuss the matter next thursday. the electric plant say the faults are not located directly beneath the regulators but if the are active they have to review their measures and give up resuming operations at the plant any time soon. the higashidori facility is the third nuclear plant in japan to undergo fault inspections. some residents who fled the crisis at the fukushima daichi nuclear plant may soon be able to go home. japanese government officials say decontamination efforts are starting to pay off. they partially lifted off some
advisories in so-called hot spots for the first time since the nuclear disaster in march last year. >> translator: we've confirmed that estimated radiation levels have fallen below the benchmark 20 millisieverts per year. the chief of the task force ordered the lifting of evacuation advisories as of today. >> friday's decision covers 129 households in date city in kawauchi village. not all households may decide to return. radiation levels remain above the international level of 1 millisievert per year for ordinary citizens. government officials say they hope to lift the remaining hot spot advisories for 153 households in minami soma city. they are among 104 municipalities in eight prefectures where radiation levels stood at 0.23 microsieverts per hour or higher. administrative officials said radiation levels in the three areas are below that benchmark. a team of foreign experts held its first meeting with representatives of japan's
nuclear regulation authority. u.s. and european scientists offered advice on nuclear safety. richard meserve is former chairman of the u.s. nuclear regulatory commission. he says people overseeing the nuclear industry must have technical skills if they are to properly enforce regulations and that those skills must be continuously assessed. he also said foreign staff should be hired if necessary. andre-claude lacoste is the former head of france's nuclear authority. he say prior to the fukushima accident, the operators only implemented the safety measures that were legally required. he said it's dangerous for plant operators to rely only on state regulations and that they should be encouraged to voluntarily enhance safety. the chairman of the nuclear
regulation authority says he's not satisfied with the safety awareness level in japan's nuclear plants. shunichi tanaka says the country must boost those measures by listening to the advice of foreign experts. north korea says any criticism of the rocket launch they carried out this week will be taken as a declaration of war. more than 100,000 celebrated the launch in pyongyang, including officials from the korean workers party and military.
the party secretary said claims by the u.s. and other parties that the rocket is ballistic missile is false. it has been released and is orbiting earth. south korean officials say it had an estimated range of 10,000 kilometers, enough to reach the u.s. west coast. south korean forces have retrieved a portion of the north korean rocket that fell over the yellow sea. they want to study the debris to learn more about the north's missile technology. the south korean navy recovered the debris from a depth of 80 meters. the sill object weighs 32 kilometers, they believe it to be a fuel tank from the first stage of the rocket. it has korean characters for the rocket's name and four holes at
the bottom with wiring still in place. defense ministry officials plan to work with experts from the united states to analyze the object's metal composition and possible fuel residue. north korea's rocket launch has set off another round of world condemnation. once again, much of the attention is on china. the north's most influential ally. today on china report, we look at the response from leaders in bejing and what motivates their longstanding relationship with an isolated regime. >> reporter: chinese media were quick to respond to the rocket launch. tv networks ran a news clip using reports by foreign news
agencies. but it took a full six hours for the chinese government to issue a formal comment. it was made during the regular press conference of the foreign ministry. >> translator: it's regrettable that north korea went ahead with the launch, despite the international's community close attention. as a member of the united nations, the north has the obligation to respect security council resolutions. >> reporter: china is north korea's neighbor and the most important of its fuel lines, also an economic superpower, since fighting the korean war together, the two countries have maintained close relations. in september, north korea held a briefing in beijing, calling for massive investment in a special economic zone.
shape, and the only way it will improve is through investment from abroad. the most important issue for china now is consistent economic growth. so it will avert any tensions that might destabilize the surrounding region. last month, a leading member of china's communist party was the first official to visit north korea. although it's known he met with north korean's secretary kim jong un, it's not clear if it notified bejing before it went ahead with the watch. >> yuko aotani spoke with china and asked how china has reacted for north korea over this launch? >> the statement of regret from china's foreign ministry. beijing is unhappy about the launch, but remains to be seen how china deals with the issue
at the united nations. the chinese government earlier indicated that the launch would violate u.n. security council resolutions and urged north korea to exercise self-restraint. the leadership in pyongyang did not heed that call and went ahead with the launch anyway and demonstrates that china's influence on the north is limited. how china views the fact that it failed to control its allies? we asked an expert at the state-backed thinktank. >> translator: i think the international community misunderstands or has exaggerated view of china's influence on the korean peninsula or on security in northeast asia, so i think it's wrong to discuss on the basis of this incident alone, whether china's influence on north korea has increased or decreased. >> looking to the future. china is worried about nuclear weapons and it may conduct more nuclear tests.
>> the launch has brought more criticisms raining down on north korea, why does china remain such an ally? >> security is one reason. china wants to prevent instability. leaders in beijing don't want many turmoil across the border. instability would hurt china's economy. the cold war is long over but geopolitics is still an issue. beijing needs to demonstrate that they will have significant influence on the peninsula to counter the presence of the united states which is south korea's ally. these factors will ensure china's continued support for north korea. the expert that appeared earlier said the launch would not cause a major change in china's north korean policy.
>> translator: china's policy is to support north korea's economic development. so the country can implement and require economic reforms and stabilize. once stability is achieved, the the country can begin to begin trying to become part of the international community. i think this is the most practical course. >> north korea needs china's help. its economy is still in poor shape and its leader wants to show that progress is being made, also, beijing believed that progress in north korea will give the country an incentive to give up its nuclear program. china is the key to making north korea accept the international community's demand to start taking provocative acts. but it remains to be seen whether china can fulfill its
role as a responsible member of the international community. a deadly suicide attack hit a military base in afghanistan. the incident took place shortly after a visit by the u.s. defense secretary. our bureau in bangkok has the details. >> reporter: the bombing took place on thursday at a u.s. military facility in the south of the country. reuters says one american service member was killed and three others were wounded. a suicide bomber rammed a car filled with explosives into an armored vehicle near the perimeter of kandahar airfield. the attack took place less than three hours after u.s. defense secretary leon panetta left the facility. it is unclear if the incident is connected with the visit. panetta met with afghan president hamid karzai on thursday. the u.s. defense secretary is visiting the country to map out
its future, following the withdraw of nato-led combat troops by the end of 2014. rising death tolls are reminders of the instability of the country ahead of the planned transfer of security to the afghan government. we have another story from afghanistan. the country has high hopes for the future of its railway system. currently there is only a single line in operation. but there are plans to drive post-war reconstruction by building an extensive railway network linking afghanistan with its neighbors in central asia. nhk world reports from kabul. >> reporter: afghanistan railway started service earlier this year. the 75 kilometer line runs between the northern cities, linking the country with uzbekistan.
it is used to transport food and supplies needed for reconstruction efforts. now officials are planning further lines. in an interview with nhk, the minister said afghanistan is planning new routes. >> translator: we aim to build links with two neighbors by the end of next year and we hope to start construction soon after. >> reporter: the asian development project is aexpected to overassist us. the head of the office, it plans to offer $240 million to help finance the project. afghanistan is rich in natural resources.
its deposits of crude oil, iron ore, gold, copper and other resources are estimated to be worth nearly $1 trillion. the government has set its sights on developing mines and oil fields and exporting resources to neighboring countries by rail. but the countries aspirations go even further. it hopes to eventually extend rail links as far as pakistan and iran. but afghanistan's geographical features such as high peaks and rugged grounds are obstructions. a chinese farm that conducted preconstruction railway between pakistan and afghanistan returned negative results. >> translator: the company informed us that its initial surveys revealed problems over the expected route. >> reporter: security is another concern for the project.
afghanistan is still rocked by attacks from the anti-government taliban. during the period, afghanistan thrived as a hub for economics at the center of asia. now they want to the boost reconstruction efforts by once again -- and the railway still will be key. nhk world, kabul. nurses in india are remembering one of their own. medical workers held candle light vigils for a nurse of indian origin who committed suicide in london. jacintha saldanha had been duped by a radio station. nurses gathered to perform prayers and pay tribute to saldanha. >> it's very unfortunate for a nurse who was in the peak of her
career had to die in a very bad way for the royal prank played by some foolish people. >> demonstrators are urging the uk to release the body of saldanha who was of indian origin so her family can perform final rites. they are also demanding efforts by authorities to look into the cause of the incident. >> we are joined here to pray for jacintha's family. a proper investigation has to be done. it is a major issue. it can't be left as it is. >> two australian radio deejays impersonated queen elizabeth ii in a recorded call which was later aired on a sydney radio station. the two hosts have since been taken off the air. following the incident, an
independent organization has started an investigation into ethical standards in the media. that will wrap up our bulletin for today. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. politicians in japan have one more day to get their messages out to voters. they've been campaigning ahead of the country's first general election in three years. the ruling democrats came to power in 2009, promising change. but the former ruling liberal democrats say the party hasn't delivered. and so japan decides this sunday who should form the next government. voters will be picking lawmakers for the lower house of the diet also known as the house of representatives. these 12 groups met the criteria to be called a political party in this elec they include long-established parties and several new ones that were just founded.
a number of other groups failed to meet the standards but are still fielding candidates. whoever runs the next administration will take up a host of challenges. japanese officials have been arguing with their counterparts in china and taiwan over islands in the east china sea. it's just one of a number of pressing concerns on the foreign policy front. nhk world brings us up to speed. >> reporter: chinese hit the streets in force in september, furious about their neighbors. they protested outside the japanese embassy, boycotted japanese goods, struck out at anything japanese. the root of their anger, the nationalization of islands in the east china sea. >> translator: the senkaku islands are japan's sovereign territory, this is a clear fact both historically and in light
of international law. >> reporter: the japanese government bought the islands from a private owner. the thing is, china and taiwan claim them too. chinese leaders said nationalizing them is not acceptable. they've sent petrol ships into japanese waters around the islands, followed closely by japan coast guard crews. the new leadership declared china would build itself into a maritime power by safeguarding its interests. japan's next government will take up other disputes too. in august south korean president visited islands his country controls in the sea of japan. japanese claims sovereignty over the territory which they call takeshima. >> translator: japan's leaders should first sit down at the negotiating table and seek
advantages. >> translator: we shouldn't let others go on saying whatever they like. the government should stay tough and say what we should say. >> reporter: all these tensions seem to have come to a head. critics including in the house the liberal democrats say democratic party leaders have mishandled relations with the u.s. and they say that has sent the wrong message to japan's neighbors. japanese and u.s. negotiators have struggled over how to relocate an american military base in okinawa. ldp government leaders agreed in 2006 to keep the futenma air station in okinawa. the first dpj prime minister promised in 2009 to move it outside of the prefecture. hatoyama later decided the base should be relocated within the prefecture. the critics say the flip-flop
weakened relation with the u.s. and they say the leaders of neighboring countries saw an opportunity to take advantage. >> translator: the dpj ripped apart the japan/u.s. relationship. these problems are a result of their failures in diplomacy over three years. >> reporter: and now japanese face another threat from north korea. on wednesday officials there launched what they called a rocket to put a satellite into space. but political leaders in tokyo, seoul and washington say what they were doing was testing technology for long range ballistic missile. tension, uncertainty, opportunity. just some of the reasons why u.s. leaders are moving forward with what they call a pivot towards the asia-pacific. >> the united states is turning
our attention to the vast potential of the asia-pacific region. >> reporter: japanese leaders will need to rework their policies as the u.s. shifts its focus. they see a host of geopolitical challenges around them with few easy solutions. nhk world, tokyo. a storm has been hovering above samoa. we've been following that story and the rest of the weather around the globe. robert? >> yes. we're continuing to watch evan here, bringing some very gusty winds, even flooding rains here over samoa. really the big threat is it is dropping an abundant amount of rainfall and even storm surge right along the north portions of samoa. winds kicking up at this time. continue to trek off to the west.
so still going impacting the samoa tlouhroughout the remaind of your friday night and into saturday. gradually improving. sunday into monday along the north coast of fiji here. the problem with that, that puts you in the right front quadrant of the storm system. that's where the heavy rain, gusty winds and storm surge is really going to be affecting you as this continues to track off here. if you're watching from fiji, you want to be making preparations now for this incoming storm system. we're going to continue to keep you updated with it as it tracks off to the west. looking to the north here into japan, we have this low pressure area starting to move across the country. that's going to bring in some rainfall, actually. and over the course of saturday, really going to be seeing wet weather now. the good news, we have elections coming up on sunday. that tracks off there towards the east, it is going to be bringing in farrer fair weather. there are sunny skies that the start to build their way back in.
temperatures rising here also on saturday with that rainfall. 15 for the high. looking over towards seoul, behind it, starting to see the cooloff. 8 degrees only for your high on your saturday. let's take a look at the meshgz. let's take a look at the americas. high pressure is dominating the east. that's not going to be lasting long. we have this low continuing to spin around the four corners region. bringing snowfall into new mexico. ahead of it, see all the lines moving from the south to the north? that's indicating an influx of warm air. really going to be pumping lots of warm air along the east. in chicago, you're seeing about a 10-degree spike while with that that's going to interact with this system, bring some heavy rainfall. a messy scenario across the great lakes and moving into new england on your saturday and sunday. but here's where the temperatures will be looking like on your friday. chicago, the high of 9. once again, that's going to be going up to 18 degrees here going into your saturday. similar situation down in oklahoma city. getting up there into the low 20s. enjoy the warmup. but some rainfall is going to be
accompanying here throughout your weekend. now into europe, we have a low pressure area pushing in across the british aisles into the iberian peninsula. as that continues to track to the east, gusty winds are coming out of this one. all these lines are close together. that is indicating sustained winds possibly. gusting winds up to 110 kilometers per hour at this time. massive storm system already causing traffic delays into the airports around berlin over towards paris as well. it does look like that is going to persist as this continues to track off there towards the east. all those winds, once again, just like over there in the united states, that's pulling in warm air from the south. you're seeing a rising temperatures. london and paris, 11 degrees on your saturday. not so much the case here into the east though. minus 12 here for your high and n. moscow. in moscow. now here's a look at your extended forecast.